Headhunter

Overview

From Edgar Award-winning novelist Timothy Findley comes a thrilling epic of our dangerous times. Headhunter is a classic adventure story of two dueling psychiatrists and the civilized horrors that surround them. It is told in a master storyteller's unique style - foreboding, wrenching, ironic, and humorous. This psychological thriller has already soared to the top of Canadian best-seller lists and promises to be of equal significance and value to its American readers. It all starts when Lilah Kemp, a one-time ...
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1994-03-22 Hardcover New NEW. NO remainder markings. In a nice dj as well. Brand new book perfect inside and out.

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Overview

From Edgar Award-winning novelist Timothy Findley comes a thrilling epic of our dangerous times. Headhunter is a classic adventure story of two dueling psychiatrists and the civilized horrors that surround them. It is told in a master storyteller's unique style - foreboding, wrenching, ironic, and humorous. This psychological thriller has already soared to the top of Canadian best-seller lists and promises to be of equal significance and value to its American readers. It all starts when Lilah Kemp, a one-time librarian and sometime spiritualist, inadvertently lets Kurtz out of page 92 of Heart of Darkness and cannot force him back in. Lilah frantically begins her search for a Marlow to counter this literary villain. But who will believe her? Especially alter she discovers that the pale, thin man with the dyed hair is Dr. Rupert Kurtz, the Parkin Institute's supremely powerful Psychiatrist-in-Chief? Even as Lilah finds her Dr. Marlow, a sickening pall is falling over the city - a new and horrifying disease called sturnusemia. Birds, allegedly its carrier, are being gassed by municipal death squads. Only one lone civil servant - called Smith-Jones in Kurtz's file - has voiced his suspicions about the new plague. But he seems to have disappeared. Dr. Marlow discovers how - in the boardrooms and bedrooms of the city - the rogue spirit of Dr. Kurtz wields an unsuspected influence over the powerful and the rich: the celebrated Wylie sisters, each held in thrall by her own demon; the surgeon's wife, Emma, whose legendary beauty is a testament to her husband's skill with a scalpel - and who falls in love with the mysterious James Gatz; John Dai Bowen, the society photographer who traffics in living pornography for the secretive Club of Men; and Austin Purvis, the psychiatrist whose roster of wealthy and influential patients is being raided by Kurtz himself. And then there are the children - the growing number of mute, severely traumatized teenagers. What is it they can

The Edgar Award-winning author of The Telling of Tales returns with a psychological thriller set in a Toronto mental hospital. Lilah Kemp, a sometime spiritualist, inadvertently lets Kurtz, the diabolical character from Conrad's Heart of Darkness out of page 92--and can't get him back in.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Overlong and overwrought, yet compelling and powerful, Findley's ambitious chronicle of a society gone amok with greed, depravity and moral emptiness is sometimes maddeningly diffuse but always intriguing. The setting is a slightly futuristic Toronto, a city in the grip of an epidemic called sturnusemia, purportedly carried by starlings, who are being exterminated by death squads using a lethal spray. AIDS has run rampant; art, music and literature have become decadent. In this surreal landscape, Lilah Kemp, a former librarian suffering from schizophrenia, has ``inadvertently set Kurtz free from page 92 of Heart of Darkness. '' Rupert Kurtz, the latter-day incarnation of Conrad's epitome of evil, runs the city's leading psychiatric hospital. Brilliant but demented, Kurtz is secretly conducting drug experiments at his clinic, and he is also a member of the Club of Men, pornographers who do unspeakable things to children. Since his clients and co-conspirators all come from the wealthy and powerful segment of Toronto society (which Findley portrays with acidulous satire), Kurtz seems to be indestructible. But then, as he must, Marlow arrives: psychiatrist Charlie Marlow comes to the institute and finally vanquishes Kurtz once again. An hallucinatory, menacing tone permeates this complex tale. Some passages are brilliant, glittering with insights, while others bear the marks of haste and melodramatic excess. There are a stupefying number of characters and subplots. On the other hand, Findley ( Famous Last Words ) creates witty literary allusions: one character is a contemporary Emma Bovary; another is named Jay Gatz. His subtext is the power of literature: ``We write each other's lives--by means of fictions . . . This way we point the way to darkness--saying: come with me into the light.'' Despite its many faults, the novel (a bestseller in Canada) is empowered by anger; it is a stirring indictment of the amorality that Findley sees as the plague that will usher out the 20th century. (Apr.)
Library Journal
An Edgar Award winner for The Telling of Tales (Delacorte, 1988), Findley here conjures up a spiritualist who manages to release Kurtz from the pages of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness --but can't get him back in.
Emily Melton
Award-winning Canadian author Findley has written a powerful, brilliantly conceived, spellbinding story that will mesmerize readers from first page to last. Lilah Kemp, self-proclaimed psychic and sometime mental patient, accidentally lets the evil Kurtz escape from Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" and is compelled to find a Marlow to capture Kurtz and return him to the pages where he belongs. In Lilah's real life, Kurtz takes the form of Chief Psychiatrist at Toronto's Parkin Institute of Psychiatric Research, and the Marlow she needs to conquer Kurtz is a staff member there. Kurtz is a diabolical man, playing with the minds of some of Toronto's richest and most powerful men and women--three beautiful and ethereal sisters, a renowned society photographer, a wealthy recluse, a secret pederast. And while Kurtz preys on victims in his consulting rooms, outside in Toronto strange things are happening: A terrible killer disease called sturnesemia is rampant, the D-Squads bring their tanks of destruction through the streets, and the city's adolescents are rendered mute by a mysterious affliction. At once dazzling, mind-blowing, and unrelentingly grim, "Headhunter" is a wonderfully dark satire, a horrifying tale of decadence and evil, and a savagely witty commentary on human society. Watch for this one at or near the top of next year's best-book lists.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780517598276
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/22/1994
  • Edition description: 1st U.S. ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 440
  • Product dimensions: 6.42 (w) x 9.47 (h) x 1.47 (d)

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